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Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious mac and cheese that is easy to make simply by using your rice cooker.

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Yes you read the title right. It says rice cooker macaroni and cheese. I love my rice cooker. I use it to make rice all the time. It makes great rice. It also steams vegetables really well. But did you know that you can cook other things in it. Well you can.

Many things can be made in your rice cooker including macaroni and cheese. 

I know that the Instant Pot is all the rage right now because so many things can be made in it, but I still love and use my rice cooker. Both the Instant Pot and the rice cooker have a place in my kitchen. 

Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese

There are several cookbooks that have been written for rice cooker cooking. You can also find quite a few recipes by searching the internet.

What I have found is that a lot of these recipes are slow cooking or have many steps. If I am going to slow cook I would rather use my crock pot. And I don’t mind recipes with lots of steps, but for me the whole point of using my rice cooker is to make it fast. I don’t want to slow cook in my rice cooker. 

Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese

I have found however a recipe/technique for the rice cooker that I love. It is for macaroni and cheese. No boiling water, no stirring while cooking. This is a simple one pot meal.

Now this is not a gourmet mac and cheese. I am not claiming that this will be the best ever, but it is good. It makes a great, quick lunch and my kids love it. It beats the stuff in the box with the powdered cheese any day.

My kids love to make this for a quick and easy lunch. I also love to make it for an easy dinner or side dish. It also works great with gluten free pasta.

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Make quick and easy macaroni and cheese by using your rice cooker!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 can (14 ounce) chicken broth
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I like a cheddar/jack blend)


  1. Place macaroni and broth in rice cooker. Secure lid and set to cook. (On my Zojirushi Rice Cooker I use the quick cook setting.)
  2. When rice cooker switches to warm (about 15 minutes) add milk and cheese. Stir.
  3. Keep on warm close lid and let sit for about 5 minutes or until cheese is well melted.
  4. Serve.


These are the directions that work in my rice cooker. It took a couple tries to get the liquid right so the liquid may vary a little depending on your rice cooker. But the basic recipe should work.

Have you ever used your rice cooker for anything besides rice? I would love to hear if you have.

Rice Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Thanks for posting this. I will have to try this out. I use my rice cooker to cook lentils all the time. It is so much easier!

  2. Oh I am for sure going to try this one, Lynn. I love my steamer for rice and veggies. Thanks for posting this.

  3. I am going to try this! do you by any chance have the pampered chef rice cooker?

  4. No Heather. I have an Oster electric rice cooker that I have had several years. I did not know P. Chef had one.

  5. oh great recipe! i love my rice cooker — matter of fact i’ve worn out the coating and should probably think about getting another one. it’s the only way i’ll bother with oatmeal — we like steel-cut oats.

    • would love to hear how you prepare your steal cut oatmeal in the rice cooker as I love it but the long cooking time is too much for weekday breakfasts.

      • @Kim,
        I have a Sanyo rice cooker and it has a delayed cook cycle on it. I have just recently bought this and now looking for more recipes to try in it as well. I do know it is NOT good for Old Fashion Oats on the Porridge setting ๐Ÿ™ . All was not lost, I just added more oats and let it set on warm for about 10 min (refrigerated the leftover).

  6. claudiapatx says

    This is great. I cook just about everything in either my rival rice cooker/steamer or my “Jet-Stream Oven” Both are great! I love steamed talapia. And there’s no better way to steam shrimp. It just leaves in the flavor which you would normally “boil” out the regular way!

  7. AlOlmstead says

    Rice cookers are also great when cooking for one or two. Substitute soy milk if lactose is a problem. Experiment with the same basic ingredients and methods to make great rice pudding.

  8. I can not wait to try this. I’ve been so discontent buying mac and cheese lately and wanting to find a version that I like. I look forward to this. ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Michelle says

    I finally tried this a month ago — my boys LOVE it. Will never bother with store bought again …. this is so much better.

  10. Hi! Just found your site via OrgJunkie and I have to say I LOVE this idea to make mac ‘n cheese in my rice cooker. I’ve been looking for a healthier, but still easy way to make mac ‘n cheese for my kids and this looks just right! I, too, LOVE (love, love!) my rice cooker…used it tonight in fact (just to make rice though). Great idea!
    .-= Meal Plan Mom (Brenda)´s last blog ..Cookbook Review: Healthy Foods- An Irreverent Guide to Understanding Nutrition and Feeding Your Family Well =-.

  11. I just made this recipe for a friend who was in the hospital. They loved it and so did my kids. The only problem was the macaroni stuck to the bottom of the pan. (I did spray it.) Any thoughts?

    • @JulieJ, I am glad they liked it. The sticking might be due to the difference in how rice cookers cook. You might try a little extra liquid, you could add just a little water and see if that helps. But I would not add too much because it might make the noodles soggy. I have noticed that mine sticks more when I use gluten free noodles and I have not been able to figure out why on that either.

  12. Hey, Lynn…have you tried doing this with gluten free macaroni or other noodles that are gf? If so, what brand do you find works best?? Thanks.

    • @Susan,

      Never mind, I found it in your blog about the recipe…..duh!! I LOVE those shells, though, and, actually have some…gotta try this either today or tomorrow, my daughter (the gf one) LOVES mac and cheese so, this will be a great thing for her in college.

  13. Do you know if this will work in a Pampered Chef microwave rice cooker? I might have to try it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Tried this last night and it was so easy and good! Thanks for the recipe!!

  15. Thanks for posting this fantastic recipe for the rice cooker. Great quick and easy comfort food.

  16. AllieZirkle says

    I made this recipe for lunch yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚ I would say that I will use water next time (instead of chicken stock). The stock was too strong yesterday and in today’s leftovers. Also, I salted the water and added both black pepper & dry ground mustard to the final product at cheese mixin time. Delish!

    I found that 1:1 pasta:liquid works great.

    Thanks for a fun recipe!

    ๐Ÿ˜‰ Allie

  17. Never used a rice cooker before. What kind do you have? Maybe you could do a series on all the ins, outs, how tos, more recipes, etc.

    • @Ruth, Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about my rice cooker. I have actually replaced the one in this post though and now have a new one. I do love rice cookers in general and think the middle priced ones are good. The one I have now was about $30 and it works great. I love being able to get perfect rice every time and it works well for steaming vegetables also. I would not buy one just to make mac and cheese in it, but if you eat a lot of rice, they are worth getting.

  18. Lynn, we use our rice cooker to make a layered Middle Eastern dish called Mak-loobe. Sear off some pork chops, layer in the bottom of the cooker. layer on salted/wrung-out/panfried eggplant, then thick slices of tomatoes. Top w/ 2 c white rice, add salt to taste and water, cook until rice is done. Serve with plain yogurt. This is my Syrian husband’s very favorite dish!

  19. Just made this. It’s good and easy and a great lunch for my son!

  20. Julie Huey says

    Thanks for posting this! I love how easy this recipe is compared to the one I have, which involves making a roux first! I thought about adding a little cream to the milk. After I realized I ran out of cream, I add 3 T. of butter instead. The chicken stock really takes the recipe to the next level. It was really good!

  21. I have thought about getting a rice cooker for the last few weeks but was not sure if it was necessary. This post might have just swayed me. Thanks so much and thanks for the link that shows us which one you have.\

  22. We tried this in our household tonight. It was a huge success. Thank you!

  23. This is an ingenious way to do mac ‘n’ cheese and will definitely get a run here when I do up my next batch of chicken stock. Or whatever sort I get in the mood to make; the recipe sounds like it would take well to almost any kind of clear stock–and some monkeying with cheese varieties too. Uh-oh, more new food addictions!

  24. Added can of salmon, italian cheese, moz. cheese, and cream cheese today. Yum!

  25. I have a Wolfgang puck rice cooker
    Will Mac and cheese recipe work in that?

    • I have tried it in 2 different rice cookers and it works, but neither is Wolfgang Puck brand. I think it would be worth a try though.

  26. CJ Teague says

    My friend told me shee cooks oat groats for breakfast in her rice cooker, I tried it ad Loved it.

  27. I use my rice cooker for mac m cheese all the time. I also
    add about 2Tsp. of mustard too adf a little zing. Also add a little shreddef
    Parmesan. for added flavor. My Grandkids love it!!!!!!!

  28. I just recently got myself a Zojirushi 5 1/2 cup micom rice cooker and I’ve been looking for every excuse to use it so I can’t wait to try this recipe out (I love mac n’ cheese!). Do you use the rice cooker cup for the measurements or is it just standard American measurements for the ingredients?

    • I use American measurements. And on my Zorjirushi I use the quick cook setting. On my old rice cooker I just used the regular one. I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy your rice cooker. I love my Zorjirushi!

      • I’m glad I read through the comments ๐Ÿ™‚ I was wondering if you had made any adjustments or done anything different since you got your Zojirushi. I’m in love with mine! I’ve only had it about a week but I think I’ve used it every day! Lol :p

  29. I have three different sized rice cookers and use them all. My favorite recipe is one I made up that my kids enjoy. I make 3 cups of uncooked rice, once it’s cooked and on warm I add a 28 oz. can of baked beans, 18 oz. bottle of bbq sauce and 6 smoked or polish sausages sliced up. Let it heat through on warm. We call it beans, wienies and rice casserole. I never thought about making mac and cheese in my rice cooker but will definitely try it! Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Hi. I’ve made this a few times (the first time I didn’t read the directions and added all the liquid at once – not recommended) but the last time I made this it was great. I used beef broth, buttermilk, and some smoked Gouda cheese. Yum…the faults loved it and my 3 year old wanted it again for dinner the same day. Yum!!!

  31. Love this recipe! Thanks for posting it. My husband bought me a rice cooker for Christmas, and this is my kid’s favorite recipe so far.

  32. Ok, I was looking a way to fix a box of mac and cheese powder (you know the one) to celebrate removal of preservatives and artificial flavors and dyes. I was also looking for proportions of water to pasta, a way to cook the pasta without using 6 cups of water and pouring half of it down the drain. These looked useful.

    I ended up pouring water to the 2 cup line in the pot, then adding coconut milk to the 3 cup line. Added the macaroni, cooked till al dente (lots of liquid still) and then added the cheese powder and some coconut oil. Stirred occasionally.

    Mine is an 8 cup Aroma cooker with a White Rice button, a Brown Rice button, Saute button, Steam, and Keep Warm. I started with the White Rice button and it didn’t switch to keep warm until the cheese sauce was rather thick. About 30 minutes or so overall. I added some cayenne pepper and stirred in some frozen green peas. I’m no gourmet either, but it was pretty tasty.

    By the way, a rice cooker steams eggs wonderfully–I use Steam button on mine, and the shells slide right off! You don’t need to use much water either, an inch or two in the pot, put the eggs in the steamer basket, hit the steam button and let it go till it beeps.

  33. My favorite way to make Mac & Cheese. Haven’t bought the boxed kind since I found your recipe. Only problem still can’t convince my husband to eat it made with real cheese. He likes the processed stuff because it’s creamier. Maybe I’ll try cream cheese plus real cheese. Any thoughts?

    • I am so glad that you like it! Cream cheese might help the creaminess. I think it is worth trying. I have also found that jack cheese or a mexican blend type of shredded cheese gives it a creamier texture. I have never tried it, but I am guessing that you could easily use part or all Velveeta in this to make it creamier too. It might give it the creaminess that your husband likes.

  34. Do you think that this will work in my insitant pot on the rice setting?

    • I actually just bought an Instant Pot and am sharing a little about it tomorrow. So far I have only tried two recipes in it and this one was one of them. I needed a side dish for dinner one night and mac and cheese sounded good. I thought it would be fun to try it in the Instant Pot. I used the same basic recipe, but used the time amount that I had seen on a few pressure cooker mac and cheese recipes. It worked and was good, but was slightly overcooked. So I am going to work on the time before I shared it. I have not tried it on the rice setting though and may do that next time. I guess the answer is I think it would work, with some adjusting. I will keep you updated when I get an instant pot version that I like. I hope that helps.


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